Critical Analysis of Feminist Therapy
CriticalAnalysis of Feminist Therapy
CriticalAnalysis of Feminist Therapy
Thefeminist therapy concept addresses concerns of people with specificrequirements in the society such as women involved in instances ofdomestic violence. The model’s treatment is motivated by a socialchange in solving the mental health distress. The concept of thetreatment has been perceived as a social and an individual system,which is inseparable and holistic in nature. Additionally, the modelbrings about a family principle used as a social system thatnecessitates acceptance among females. The theory is subjective tothe extent that every woman generates her meaning from the personalexperiences. The home environment majorly influences life meaningtogether with life roles where a woman forms a logic or personal viewof the world around her. The author argued that family problems arerelated to their logics and some discouragement within the homestead(Kallivayalil, 2007). Feminist Counseling integrates with traditionalprinciples of family therapy. Children and women are most affected bythe negative interaction that is repetitive and founded on mistakengoals thus resulting in the discouragement for family members. It isbelieved that a woman is more responsive and coordinative if she ismotivated and anchorages feelings of adequacy and respect. Therapists also argue that frustrated and unmotivated women displaycounterproductive characters that result in competition, withdrawalor defeat. Over the years, feminist therapy has been used to involveindividuals, families, and couples in exploration and realization ofgoals and procedural movement towards achieving these objectives.This paper will focus on critically analyzing feminist therapy asapplied to women with an experience of domestic violence.
Ina family structure, parents have an obligation to determine themethods or the criteria of relating and interacting with each other.Women act as models for children gender roles and teach them how torelate to the world and their society. According to the feministtherapy model, children experience mother’s modeling throughrespectful, hostile, strict, loving, scary, nurturing or indulgentstrategies (Kallivayalil, 2007). It is the role of women to help andshape children development, and the feminist therapy principle ofhousehold value occurs if both parents support similar standards(Kallivayalil, 2007). The feminist model has been applied to womenespecially those who survive instances of violence in their homes.Family chaos emanates from influential encounters of coercion andharassment within the lives of women.
Theauthor highlights the fact that the feminist therapy model caters forclose attention on social-cultural setting and the improvement ofwomen empowerment. It motivates the victims of violence to gathertheir strength and improve their capabilities to cope with thosedifficult situations (Kallivayalil, 2007). Feminist therapycritically and efficiently applied to victims of domestic violenceenables them to regain or feel in control over their behaviors andcan make critical decisions, which empowers them through protectionagainst aggression. Counseling of women is seen as advantageous andas a powerful tool of mediation in domestic violence within thesociety (Kallivayalil, 2007). However, the author points out thatwomen’s therapy is limited to the minimization of the diversity oftheir experiences especially about sexual orientation, ethnicity,religion, and their identification of individual`s position insociety as the crucial element of harassment among women. Forinstance, feminist therapist failing to recognize the diversity insociety and the oppressions that the victims of violence face, mayadvise women to leave an offensive relationship without knowing theimpacts it may cause to women and their children.
Mostimportantly, the author accentuates the fact that clinicalintervention applied in the feminist therapy reveals thatunderutilized mental health services, to some extent, create stigmarelated to mental issues due to psychological health providerslacking sensitivity to cultural and structural needs of most victimsof family violence (Kallivayalil, 2007). A solution to remedy theunderutilization of feminist therapy addresses the drawbacks of womencounseling models and urges therapist to pay close attention to thespecificities of minority groups in the society. According to theauthor, understanding the fact that women may experience mentalrelated issues due to psychological oppression plays a significantrole in the feminist therapy. Some principles of feminist therapy canbe acquired contrary to family values and bring about help to womenin the community. These may occur through understanding theirperspective on power, socialist alignment as well as the backgroundfor domestic violence that hinders women therapy intercessions(Kallivayalil, 2007).
Besides,Kallivayalil (2007) utilizes various theories in feminist therapymodel to indicate how it enables therapists to address issues ofsocial transformation, biasedness and women approaches to internaloppression. The author thus suggests that the feminist therapyfocuses on empowering women through nurturing them to enhance theirbeliefs about identity. It also aims at motivating women toconcentrate on contextual issues relevant to minority groups. Theseproblems include factors such as social isolations, thegeneralization of challenges, and diversity of women when designingtechniques of mediation. Through some concepts in the model, theauthors point out that a therapist can prevent generalizing theresponses and perspectives of women and children as the dependency oras lack of individualism (Kallivayalil, 2007). The feminist therapyprinciple places its emphasis on self-control behaviors, and it takesbehavioral differences in public or private extents as a factor thatis essential in the emergence of arguments within homes. It alsoshows that household fierceness is based on harassment anddepreciation of women and their role in the community. The primarypurpose of feminist counseling, as portrayed by the author, isattained whenever a therapist identifies causes of domestic violenceand forecasts on what would happen to women and whether theperceptions of people in their communities are offering suitablesolutions (Kallivayalil, 2007).
Accordingto Kallivayalil (2007), the importance of feminist therapy is tobuild self-hood, self-worth, and self- esteem to women. The authorbelieves that personal skills and decisions obtained from the modelbecame irrelevant in offensive marriages therefore, placingpriorities in feminist therapy that helps women to make a particulardecision in future. In this study, the model helps the therapist toapply approaches that try to make women evaluate their conscience andrealize what they want in life. The significant aspect of becomingnon-judgmental and supportive was having a clear understanding of thevictim and processes involved in working alongside the survivingindividuals of domestic violence as well as validating the decisionsof the minority especially when they are still in an offensiverelationship. The study revealed that women report instances of abusein one week and lack to discuss it later they appear to thetherapist. This situation was at times worrisome in traditionalcounseling approaches since therapist could not initiate a treatmentplan (Kallivayalil, 2007).
Accordingto the author, therapy only focused on enabling victims of violenceto narrate their experiences in depressing relationships. Thetherapist used concepts of a feminist therapy model to allow victimsto realize that their challenges are not lying with them inparticular but within the society and motivated them to value theiridentities and hopes. The therapist also utilized various techniquesin the feminist counseling to empower women, as they remainedflexible to each victim`s situation (Kallivayalil, 2007). Thecommitments of counselors extended beyond therapy sessions ormeetings depending on the status of the patient and finally leavingthem to make their decisions after the provision of informationregarding empowerment and self-protection.
Kallivayalil, D.(2007). Feminist Therapy: ItsUse and Implications for South Asian Immigrant Survivors of DomesticViolence, 30(3-4),109-127. Doi: 10.1300/J015v30n03̱09
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